Posts Tagged ‘Young Christian Writers’

Last night was the second meeting of the Young Christian Writers’ Guild that I help start. Though we had only half our members, we had a really good time and it spurred some good discussion.

The guild is fairly low-key. Lots of talking. Little as far as an agenda. I think free-spirited writers like that more than a strict code of order. Our first meeting we spent two hours mostly getting to know each other and our main views on writing, some topics as old as writing itself and some very heated modern-day issues. This meeting we brought in samples of our writing and discussed more practical problems that writers face: like character development, descriptions and how  a guy can write about a girl and vice versa.

The gender problem of writing is, of course, a struggle. Guys and girls have problems understanding each other in real life, let alone a girl trying to write about a guy or a guy trying to write about a girl. We threw around comments such as girls will tend to look at the emotional side while guys will focus on the practical; and that girls need two paragraphs to say what a guy can say in a single sentence. But I think the thing we hit on most was this: when writing a character of the opposite sex, do not get caught up on the gender issue. Find their passions and focus on those. Once you get inside what the character believes in you will find his/her thought process already waiting for you to tap into. After all, some guys act emotional. Some girls act tough. Stereo-typing is not a good way to write. So make your characters as diverse as real life. Think of how people you know with the same passions as your characters interact and draw from that.

The guild is proving to be a very good tool to develop a skill that is usually very lonely. We are stretching each other. We are bringing different experiences and talents. And we are having fun doing it!

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The Energizer bunny in me was ticking last night, even though I knew we were leaving at four this morning for our fourteen hour drive home. When I awoke I could not have been more confused. Since I have been writing better at night, my mental clock has gradually shifted to going to bed later and getting up later. From waking at 9ish to waking at 4ish was a big jump.

Groggily I packed and made it to the car. It took us a while to figure out how to escape Pittsburgh since the bridge we wanted to use was closed down, but once we got on the highway I completely zoned out and awoke only when tempted by coffee. I have not had coffee in far too long! It tasted delicious. The drive was less arduous than I had expected. I was reading a new book that drew me in with a strange style and unique characters. I finished it a few moments ago. The first two hundred pages were wonderful and then… I cannot believe I wasted a day on that book.

Imagine you think you are reading a thrilling government conspiracy novel with incredibly self-sacrificing characters. Then at the end you discover that it was about aliens and that your heroes are selfish bimbos. That is how this book felt. It was pretty funny actually, but I don’t think I was supposed to be laughing. I try not to tear apart other authors work but I guess I am a critic.

By the time we got home, my brother’s family and my sister’s family were waiting with chinese food. It was really great to see my nephews, hang with my siblings (both the blood-related ones and their spouses), relax out of the car with my parents, and tell baseball stories to the three-year-old. Now my Red Sox hat lives atop the head of one of my first inspirations–Flibbert the frog. Countless tickets and maps await scrapbooking on my desk. My brain is teaming with new ideas for writing and business, new goals for school and the postponed (but not dead) book tour and high hopes for a Young Christian Writers’ Guild it looks like I will be helping to get started in the area.

I have come back from vacation refreshed and ready to go. Here’s hoping that my energy lasts!

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